The Ultimate Guide to Local SEO:
The pillars of local SEO are similar to those for traditional SEO: great content, keywords and backlinks. But the ultimate goal in local SEO is increased visibility in a specific geographic area. Localized content should be created with both users and search engines in mind to help establish your business as a local expert. Here’s what you need to know:
What is local SEO?
It’s when companies use search engine optimization (SEO) techniques to rank higher in local organic (non-paid) search results. Local SEO will help your company appear at the top of local result pages like Google My Business, Bing Places for Business, Yahoo! Local and others.
Local SEO is about more than just optimizing your website; it’s a process that involves the entire company. To help you better understand local SEO and how it can impact your company, we put together this ultimate guide to local SEO.
15 Local SEO Tips for Optimizing Your Website:
If you are in the market for a new place to live, one of the first things you will do is search online. You may even find yourself checking out your dream home on your cell phone while you are still in your current living arrangements.
People looking for local businesses also conduct their searches online today. If you are a small business owner, you need to optimize your website for the local market.
Here are 15 tips for optimizing your website for the local market:
1. Make sure your website is mobile-friendly.
According to Google, “more than half of local searches are performed on mobile devices.” If your website isn’t optimized for smaller screens, you’re losing business. Mobile compatibility also helps with local SEO because Google can easily find out that your site is mobile friendly.
2 Include business city and State:
In your website’s header, include the city and state in which your business is located. This helps Google accurately pinpoint your business.
3. Include an “about us” page on your website.
Include specific details about the history of your business, when you opened, and who works there. Be sure to include links to photos of the physical store or office space in which you operate along with links to photos of any notable employees that work at your company.
4. contact us page
Include a “contact us” page with multiple ways for customers to get in touch with you, including a map and directions. This makes it easier for customers to reach out if they need assistance (e.g., when they can’t find your physical location). You should also make sure this page includes the hours of operation for your business.
5. Use local keywords in your website’s content.
For example, if you’re a dentist in the San Francisco area, your website should include words like “San Francisco Dentist” and “dentistry.”
The more often these keywords are used on your website, the easier it will be for Google to find your site. As an added bonus, including relevant keywords helps make your website more useful to your visitors and helps with CTR (click through rate) and search engine rankings.
6. Local keywords
Include local keywords in your title tag, page titles and meta description. These are some of the most important pages for Google to crawl for both local and organic results.
7. Add a Google map
Add a Google map of your business location to your website. This is a crucial part of local SEO because it tells Google that your business exists and includes the address of your location.
8. List your business on Google My Business:
Sign up for Google My Business. This service from Google allows you to update information about your business, add special offers via coupons, upload photos and more. It’s one of the most important tools for local SEO.
7. Submit your business to local directories:
When you list your business on local directories, it tells Google that your business exists. There are some specific directories to check out:
One important note: It’s essential to optimize your website with the same keywords you use on local directories. If you claim an NAP (Name, Address and Phone number) across directories and then use different keywords on those directories, Google will be confused as to which is the right information to use and could penalize your website because of it.
8. Make sure your website is optimized for local search .
Google, for example, gives preference to sites that: Include keywords in the website’s HTML title tag (e.g., “Title of Your Page” is better than “Untitled”).
9. Claim your Google My Business listing.
Conduct a search for your business on Google Maps. If your business’s website address isn’t listed at the top of the results page, click “More” and then “About this result.” From there, you can claim your listing.
10. Monitor local rankings .
Set up alerts to monitor how well your website ranks for local SEO. Searchmetrics has a free rank tracking tool.
11. Get positive reviews from customers
Getting reviews of your business on Google, Yelp and other directories results in citations on the web which tells search engines that your business exists. Usually when you get reviews, you’ll see an uptick in rankings.
12. Get reviews .
The more reviews you get, the better—as long as they’re good. If your business is new and doesn’t have any reviews yet, ask friends and family for some quick ones on social media or on a directory like Facebook.
13. Link to your Google My Business page from your website .
This tells search engines that your site contains information about your business. This helps with local SEO rankings because it makes Google look like you own the website.
14. Post great content that’s useful to people in your industry or local area .
This is important for both local and organic optimization because people will share this content on social media, mentioning your business and linking back to your site.
This helps with local rankings because it tells Google that your site is an authority in your industry or geographical location. Also, search engines often reward sites that get a lot of links from other sites with better rankings.
15. Add new content to your site regularly .
This tells search engines that your website is active and gives visitors reasons to come back time after time—which could result in new customers.
SEO is a process that never ends. Once you start, you’ll constantly need to monitor and tweak your efforts based on SEO best practices and algorithms changes.
That’s why it’s so important to hire an SEO consultant, SEO agency, or SEO experts who understand this industry inside and out.
We hope we’ve given you some good ideas for local SEO, but if you need more help growing your business, don’t hesitate to get in touch!